Developing pragmatic awareness and communicative competence of Third year students of English, University of Constantine1.
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This study investigates the effectiveness of explicit pragmatic instruction on the speech act awareness and the communicative competence of a sample of learners of English as a Foreign Language (EFL) at university level and their need to learn English as communication. It also assesses the degree of relationship between the learners’ pragmatic theoretical knowledge and their speech act awareness and between the latter and communicative proficiency. The hypotheses are, first, the students’ needs in learning English are perfectly compatible with the communicative trend. Second, if students are more exposed to explicit pragmatic instruction and communicative tasks, they will develop better their speech act awareness. Third, Students speech act awareness increases their communicative proficiency. Fourth and last, students’ pragmatic theoretical awareness increases their speech act awareness. The sample answers a needs analysis questionnaire before an experiment is carried out in which a control group receives no explicit instruction and an experimental/teacher instruction group learns explicitly through classroom interaction. Three test formats are administered to assess performance in two speech acts (requests and apologies). The tools used have managed to measure the learners' interlanguage pragmatic knowledge of English in an EFL context, specifically in terms of the aforementioned two speech acts. The results show that students need English for communication and interaction and, therefore, they favour the communicative approach to language teaching. The first hypothesis is, thus, confirmed. The findings reveal that explicit pragmatic instruction has a positive impact on the EFL learners’ speech act awareness, which confirms the second hypothesis. The scores obtained indicate a weak degree of association between the learners’ theoretical knowledge and their speech act awareness which disconfirms the third hypothesis. Finally, the results of the communicative proficiency test show a close relationship between the learners’ speech act awareness and communicative proficiency.
- Doctorat langue Anglaise